Malaysia welcomes Saudi Arabia's decision to open for umrah again, say ministers


PETALING JAYA: Malaysia welcomes the decision from Saudi Arabia to allow 10 days entry for foreigners who intend to perform the umrah in Mecca.

In a joint statement issued Tuesday (Nov 3), Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein and Minister of Religious Affairs in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Dr Zulkifli Mohamad al-Bakri stated that the two ministries will cooperate to ensure Malaysian pilgrims too get to perform the umrah in Saudi Arabia despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

"The government will continue to monitor the Covid-19 situation and study the standard operating procedures for the umrah as set by the Saudi Arabian government.

"The Malaysian government will do its best for the people, especially for those departing for the Holy Land. The priority is on the safety and health of the pilgrims.

"The Foreign Ministry and the Prime Minister's Department in charge of Religious Affairs will also get the advice of the National Security Council and the Health Ministry on these matters," stated the joint statement.

Two days ago, Saudi Arabia decided to reopen its doors to foreign pilgrims for the year-round umrah pilgrimage, beginning this Sunday, after a seven-month suspension due to the pandemic.

The umrah pilgrimage usually attracts millions of Muslims from all over the world each year and is a big source of income for the kingdom.

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